Behind the Scenes


To explore the paradigm shifts and sticking points of diversity management.

About the project

Employing a diverse workforce can be very positive for an organisation, leading people to be more engaged and perform better. In a previous research project on the topic, Making Diversity Work, the difference between whether diversity is an asset or a liability largely hinged on how the situation was managed. In this follow-up, we go ‘behind the scenes’ to show how you can initiate diversity and manage it positively to reap the rewards. more...

First, the positive factors that can motivate an organisation to adopt a more diverse workforce will be examined, whether they’re driven internally (such as the mindset of the leaders) or externally (such as regulatory forces).

In the second stage, the negative forces will be investigated: the internal inertia and group resistance that can sometimes create ‘sticking points’.

The third stage will consider what role a ‘champion’ can play by promoting the policies and practices that will help shift the paradigm.

To find out more about this project, read the product information sheet here or email Professor Carol Kulik ( or Professor Isabel Metz (


Chief Investigators: Professor Carol Kulik (School of Management) and Professor Isabel Metz (Melbourne Business School).
Industry partners: The 100% Project and the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable.


Changing Contexts: Impacts on Organisations, Teams, Employees and Clients


To examine how organisations, teams and individuals should adapt to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.

About the project

It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. But there is another: the inability of organisations to cope with it. Indeed, global surveys reveal that about 70% of change initiatives fail. And that includes even the most advanced, large-scale change models because human resource management practices and the impact of the social context are usually not adequately considered. more...

Context is everything. Current changes in human resource management practices, the composition of teams and the pressures of the daily work environment will be investigated in this three-year project funded by an Australian Research Council grant.

Changes in context be examined at multiple levels to determine how they impacts an organisation’s processes and effectiveness, the adaptability and performance of teams, the wellbeing and performance of its employees, and, ultimately, client service.

The findings can help organisations, managers and employees understand the process and implications of various workplace changes better, enabling them to manage change to produce more positive outcomes.


Chief investigator: Professor Cheri Ostroff.


The causes, form and remediation of compassion fatigue of personal care workers in aged care


To understand how compassion fatigue (CF) emerges among personal care workers in residential aged care, the ways that it is experienced, and to  identify potential ways of preventing, avoiding, minimising it, and remedying it once it exists.

Summary of the project

Compassion fatigue – the loss of empathy by care givers – is a feature of the caring professions. However, the way that it emerges and is experienced, varies substantially between occupational groups. This study will interview personal care workers in aged care to better understand how these employees experience CF, develop CF, the forms that it takes, and the various organisational and personal ways that it can be resolved.


Dr Gerry Treuren (Chief Investigator)

Dr Claire Hutchinson

Dr Danica Liu

Dr Ashlea Bartram